8695.0 - Accommodation Services, Australia, 2006-07 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/06/2008   
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Statistical Units Defined on the ABS Business Register


Improvements to Coverage

Comparison with Other ABS Statistics

Historical Comparisons

Reliability of the Data


Reference Period


Data Available on Request


1 This publication presents results from a survey of accommodation businesses for the reference year 2006-07. This is the eighth time the ABS has conducted a survey of accommodation businesses. Previous collections were conducted in respect of the 2003-04, 2000-01, 1997-98, 1995-96, 1991-92, 1986-87 and 1979-80 financial years.


2 The scope of the 2006-07 Accommodation Services Survey included all employing and significant non-employing businesses classified, on the ABS Business Register, to Class 4400 Accommodation of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 edition (ANZSIC06). The scope included Australian businesses that generated income predominantly from the provision of accommodation for visitors, such as hotels, motels, caravan parks, camping grounds, holiday houses and flats, serviced apartments, resorts, ski lodges, student residences (other than boarding schools) and youth hostels.

3 For the purposes of this survey, significant non-employing businesses were defined as all non-employing businesses with an estimated annual turnover of at least $228,000. This turnover threshold was selected so that the contribution of significant non-employing units, combined with all employing businesses, made up at least 97.5% of the total estimated annual turnover for all businesses classified to Class 4400.

4 Estimates for non-employing businesses below the turnover threshold are out of scope of the Accommodation Services Survey.


5 The estimates in this publication are based on ANZSIC06. Data in previous issues were based on the 1993 version of the ANZSIC (ANZSIC93). ANZSIC06 was adopted to provide a more contemporary industrial classification system, taking into account issues such as changes in the structure and composition of the economy, changing user demands and compatibility with international classification standards.

6 The majority of businesses formerly coded to ANZSIC93 Class 5710 Accommodation are now classified to ANZSIC06 Class 4400 Accommodation. The exception is businesses which are mainly engaged in the operation of long term residential caravan parks. All of these units are now classified to ANZSIC06 Class 6711 Residential Property Operators. These units were out of scope of the 2003-04 and 2006-07 surveys.

7 For more information on the 2006 industry classification and concordances between ANZSIC06 and ANZSIC93, please refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).


8 In the Accommodation Services Survey, the statistical unit used to represent businesses, and for which statistics are reported, is the Australian Business Number (ABN) unit, in most cases. The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administered Australian Business Register. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). A TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision and the TAU is classified to the predominant ANZSIC subdivision.

9 Further details about the ABS economic statistical units used in this survey, and in other ABS economic surveys (both sample surveys and censuses), can be found in Chapter 2 of the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) 2002 (cat.no.1218.0).


10 The frame used for the Accommodation Services Survey, like most ABS economic surveys, was taken from the ABS Business Register. The ABS Business Register is updated monthly to take account of new businesses and businesses which have ceased employing.


11 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

12 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates in the periods in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABS Business Register. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

13 For more information on these adjustments, please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


14 Annual industry data for accommodation services are also published in Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0). There are important differences between the ANZSIC93 statistics published in the 2005-06 issue of Australian Industry and the ANZSIC06 statistics published in the 2006-07 issue of Accommodation Services and users should exercise caution when making comparisons between the two sets of estimates. For more information about scope and changes between ANZSIC93 and ANZSIC06 refer to paragraphs 2-7 above.

15 Commencing with the 2006-07 issue (to be published in late 2008), Australian Industry will present results on an ANZSIC06 basis. Australian Industry presents annual summary statistics at the ANZSIC division and subdivision level and experimental statistics at the ANZSIC class level. It shows the relative performance of each industry division and subdivision, and allows patterns of change or growth to be analysed across particular segments of the Australian economy.

16 Accommodation Services supplements Australian Industry statistics with a detailed examination of the structure, performance and activities of accommodation businesses for the reference year of the collection. As such, the Accommodation Services Survey is not designed to monitor change over time.

17 The main reason the two sets of estimates vary relates to the use of different industry coding practices. For Australian Industry, businesses are coded to ANZSIC industry classes on the basis of the activity reported to the ATO when registering for an ABN, or for more complex businesses, on the basis of information reported directly to the ABS (see paragraphs 7-8 above). For Accommodation Services however, businesses are coded to ANZSIC06 Class 4400 on the basis of detailed financial data reported in the survey. Adjustments were made to the data to remove the contribution of businesses that were found to be incorrectly coded to ANZSIC06 Class 4400.

18 Other differences in the two sets of estimates relate to further scope variations between the two collections. Non-employing units below the threshold identified above in paragraph 3 are included in the scope of Australian Industry, but excluded from the scope of Accommodation Services.

19 Quarterly industry data for accommodation services are also published in Tourist Accommodation, Australia (cat. no. 8635.0). Tourist Accommodation presents quarterly estimates of takings from accommodation, employment, establishment counts, and various statistics about star grading, room capacity, occupancy rates, etc. The principal objective of the series is to show the quarterly movement in the estimates.

20 Differences also exist between the estimates published in Tourist Accommodation and Accommodation Services, and the reasons for these include differences in survey scope, survey frame and the statistical unit reporting data. In particular:
  • Tourist Accommodation includes all businesses in the following categories, irrespective of their predominant activity:
      - licensed hotels and resorts with facilities and five or more rooms
      - motels, private hotels and guest houses with facilities and five or more rooms
      - serviced apartments with five or more units
      - caravan parks with 40 or more powered sites
      - holiday flats, units and houses of letting entities with 15 or more rooms or units
      - visitor hostels with 25 or more bed spaces.
      Accommodation Services, on the other hand, reports data for all employing and significant non-employing businesses whose predominant activity is the provision of short-term accommodation services.
  • Tourist Accommodation uses an external frame supplied by the Australian Automobile Association through AAA Tourism Pty Ltd. The frame used for Accommodation Services is the Australian Business Register and includes only in scope businesses classified to ANZSIC06 Class 4400 Accommodation.
  • Tourist Accommodation uses the establishment as the statistical unit reporting data whereas Accommodation Services uses the ABN unit and the TAU (for more detail on these, refer to paragraph 7 above).


21 While comparisons are made in this publication between the 2006-07 and 2003-04 results of the Accommodation Services Survey, the reader should bear in mind that the survey was not designed to support accurate estimates of change, and should exercise caution when making comparisons, for several reasons, as described below in paragraphs 22-25.

Change in scope

22 In the 2003-04 survey, significant non-employing businesses were defined as those with annual turnover of at least $3.4 million. In the 2006-07 survey, significant non-employing businesses were defined as those with annual turnover of at least $228,000.

Change in estimation methodology

23 The 2003-04 survey used number raised estimation whereas the 2006-07 survey used generalised regression estimation. For details on the change in estimation methodology, refer to the Technical Note on collection design and estimation.

Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards

24 The new Australian Equivalents to International Financial Reporting Standards (AEIFRS) were progressively implemented in Australia from 1 January 2005. As a result, changes in definitions have impacted upon both income statements and balance sheet items.

25 Since the implementation of AEIFRS, analysis of published time series data has indicated structural breaks in series. The magnitude of such breaks, however, cannot be determined without imposing a disproportionate load upon data providers. The ABS will continue to monitor developments and report any significant identified impacts as a result of AEIFRS.


26 When interpreting the results of a survey it is important to take into account factors that may affect the reliability of estimates. Such factors can be classified as either sampling or non-sampling error.

Sampling error

27 The estimates are based on information obtained from a randomly selected, stratified sample of accommodation businesses in Australia. Consequently, the estimates in this publication are subject to sampling variability, that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if all units had been included in the survey (that is, if a census was conducted). One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included.

28 There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if a census was conducted and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.

29 Sampling variability can also be measured by the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. The following table contains estimates of RSEs for a selection of the statistics presented in this publication.



Businesses at end June
Employment at end June
Takings from the provision of accommodation
Takings from meals
Sales of liquor and other beverages
Labour costs
Purchases of foodstuffs for use in preparing meals
Purchases of liquor and other beverages
Operating profit before tax
Operating profit margin
Industry value added
Capital expenditure
Renovations and refurbishments

30 As an example of the above, an estimate of total income for accommodation services during 2006-07 was $9,876.2m and the RSE was estimated to be 4.2%, giving a SE of approximately $414.8m. Therefore, there would be two chances in three that, if all units had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $9,461.4m to $10,291m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 (i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $9,046.6m to $10,705.8m.

31 The sampling variability for estimates at the state/territory level was generally higher than for Australian level aggregates. Survey estimates for states/territories should therefore be viewed with more caution than national estimates. Additionally, within states/territories, the sampling variability and therefore the RSEs of estimates for smaller states/territories were generally higher than for larger states. Survey estimates for the smaller states/territories should therefore be viewed with more caution than those for larger states.

32 Estimates that have an estimated relative standard error between 10% and 25% are annotated with the symbol '^' . These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use.

Non-sampling error

33 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur in any type of collection and are referred to as non-sampling error. For this survey, non-sampling error may result from such things as deficiencies in the register of businesses from which the sample was drawn, non-response, imperfections in reporting and/or errors made in compiling results. The extent to which non-sampling error affects the results of the survey is not precisely quantifiable. Every effort was made to minimise non-sampling error by careful design and testing of the questionnaire, efficient operating procedures and systems and the use of appropriate methodology. Survey estimates subject to a high level of non-sampling error have been suppressed or provided with relevant cautions.


34 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sum of components and the total. Similar discrepancies may occur between a proportion or ratio, and the ratio of the separate components.


35 Data contained in the tables in this publication relate to accommodation businesses in Australia during the year ended June 2007. Financial estimates include the activity of any business that ceased or commenced operations during the year. Counts of businesses and establishments include only those that were operating at 30 June 2007. Employment estimates include only those persons working for businesses during the last pay period ending in June 2007, or the last pay period of the month specified.


36 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


37 Inquiries about these statistics and more detailed statistics than those presented in this publication should be made by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Sophie Vassiliou on (03) 9615 7442.